Tensions along Israel’s southern front with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip are gradually rising.
Palestinian Islamists have increased the launch of incendiary and improvised explosive devices (IED) attached to clusters of balloons – causing extensive damage to wild forests and agricultural fields.
The Commanding Officer of the Southern Precinct Bomb Disposal Unit, Chief Superintendent Erez Tamsot, said that “over the past several days we dealt with numerous incidents in which balloons attached to Improvised Explosive Devices were sent sailing (from Gaza to Israel). In addition, there were quite a few instances in which the IEDs exploded near residential communities.”
Thankfully, thus far – there were no reports of any injuries.
IDF fighter jets and tanks once again retaliated for the indiscriminate Palestinian attacks with strikes on Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced that the targets included “a military compound used by the Hamas naval force, underground infrastructure and observation posts belonging to the Hamas terror organization.”
The IDF added that it “views any terror activity against Israel with great severity and will continue operating as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli civilians,” while further stressing that “the Hamas terror organization is responsible for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it, and will bear the consequences for terror activity against Israeli civilians.”
In addition, Israeli Alternate Premier and Defense Minister Benny Gantz ordered the immediate reduction of Gaza’s fishing zone from 15 nautical miles to 8 until further notice and cessation of fuel imports from Israel into the Hamas-controlled territory.
A statement released by the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) explained “the decision was taken following repeated acts of terrorism from the Gaza Strip against Israeli citizens during recent days, which is a violation of the Israeli sovereignty.”
COGAT further reiterated that “Hamas is fully accountable for all that is done in the Gaza Strip, as well as for actions launched from Gaza against Israel. Hamas will therefore have to deal with the consequences of the violence committed against the citizens of Israel.”